If you are an online retailer, educator, restaurateur or anyone wishing to catch your audience’s attention for an object, this may be your silver bullet. Controlled-spin 3-D objects are not new, but when the masses can use their phones’ cameras to create their own, instant object – now that’s news. Arqball of Charlottesville, Virginia puts that power in your hands. Download your app from Arqball, put your object on a spinning platform (3 revs/minute is the ideal rotation), take your video using the app and presto, it’s ready to share with the world!
Developed by University of Virginia professors Jason Lawrence and Abhi Shelat, the product is getting lots of attention; Forbes says, “Anyone can create “spins,” interactive data sets, with their phone…It’s for people selling stuff to create much more compelling representations of their products.” According to Abhi, “iPhones have really amazing computers and amazing cameras and that’s opening up a world of possibilities for computational photography.” A major hurdle to the pair? “Doubt,” Jason says bluntly, “Can we do it? You have to be persistent.” Abhi adds, “You have to believe that what you are doing is fantastic and that other people will see that same thing.” They definitely have their believers; an SBIR grant early on got them where they are in record time and the company just raised over $40K on Kickstarter.
What’s around the corner? They unveiled their product at SXSW and now they wait and gauge its acceptance. “People told us ‘You expect your product will go here but it will end up way over there’,” Jason explains their anticipation; “You don’t know what to expect.” Entrepreneurship is in their blood, as Jason says, “The joy of doing something new” keeps them motivated. Abhi amplifies, “I wish I could spend every minute of the day on this. Finding something…that you’re passionate about, once you discover that you should never let go.”